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Mike Bundrant

iNLP Center

Co-Founder and Lead Trainer

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The Benefits of Mentors for Young Entrepreneurs


Successful entrepreneurs often cite hard work and continuous learning as the two main foundational aspects of their performance. It may come as a surprise to learn that mentoring is also a positive documented factor that affects novice business owners, especially those of a young age.

According to the International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring, mentorship can play a pivotal role in the success rate of beginner entrepreneurs, especially in the areas of management skills and reflective learning. 

Personality Characteristics That Make Mentorship an Effective Option

In all things education based, receptiveness is key, and the same holds true for those interested in pursuing life coaching or mentorship as a resource. If one approaches the life coaching or mentorship relationship with skepticism and doubt, the likelihood of success decreases. Conversely, when there is an open-minded approach and a willingness to try new and unexpected avenues, the potential for progress can be limitless.

One of the most significant causes for a less than beneficial relationship is the inherent trait of individualism and reluctance to ask for guidance or assistance that most budding business owners possess. However, when the mentee is able to adopt a long-term view of the process and set aside short-term discomfort or uneasiness for the potential of future success, the relationship can work.

Factors to Consider When Selecting a Mentor

One of the most commonly heard criticisms that is lodged at mentors is their less than expert knowledge base in any given subject. When evaluating a potential mentor or mentee, it is imperative to consider the fitness of the relationship in terms of subject matter. Being an expert in one industry or product market niche rarely translates to the deep understand of another.

Mentees who are serious about success must do their homework during their selection process, and find a mentor or life coach that has experience in their field or has proven success in the area of need. For example, if a mentee seeks assistance on personality-driven aspects of their business rather than needing guidance on how to navigate a specific industry, they will have greater latitude when making their decision.

If the mentee is well-developed in the more general aspects of success, such as self-discipline, focus, and goal attainment, they will likely seek a mentor with industry-specific knowledge. When considering a life coach, career counseling, or mentor/mentee relationship, it is vital to ask probing questions to determine exactly what skills will be necessary to aid in the client or mentee's success.

Choose a mentor both on personality fit as well as knowledge and industry experience level as well. Prior to meeting with prospective candidates and mentors, it can be helpful to determine the specific outcomes that are desired and how a partnership can yield success.

A Strong Mentorship Relationship is a Net Positive

Regardless of the type of relationship or skills that are desired as an outcome, mentorships are effective in guiding the mentee through the early stages of entrepreneurship and assisting them in building a strong foundation for their business. Long-term success requires many skills and practices, and working with a mentor or coach who possesses more knowledge and experience will, in almost all circumstances, be a net positive. Effective communication, a willingness by both parties to work together, and clear outcome goals can help the relationship be as effective as possible.

Young and novice entrepreneurs may not like to seek help or assistance, but additional guidance that is available as they begin their journey can make a difference in the company's longevity and level of success. The characteristics that can aid in success for business owners, such as their singular focus and resoluteness, can also hinder them in the early days. It is imperative to recognize one's limitations and areas of weakness when an entrepreneur. While these limitations may not cause failure, they may impede progress and cause the journey to success to be unnecessarily long or difficult. 

Mentorship has many benefits for young and budding entrepreneurs, and taking the time to select the right coach or mentor can make a significant and positive difference. The earlier in the process that entrepreneurs realize that asking for help is not a sign of weakness, the sooner they can reap the rewards of positive mentorship and coaching relationships.

Author Profile Picture
Mike Bundrant

Co-Founder and Lead Trainer

Read more from Mike Bundrant

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